Regional parties look to upset BJP applecart in bypolls

New Delhi: Voting for by-elections to seven assembly constituencies across six states took off on November 3, many of which are a direct contest between the BJP and regional parties.

The bypolls will be held for Andheri East seat in Maharashtra, Munugode in Telangana, Gopalganj and Mokama in Bihar, Adampur in Haryana, Gola Gokarannath in Uttar Pradesh and Dhamnagar in Odisha. Counting of votes will be done on November 6.

The Andheri East bypoll in Mumbai is seen as a mere formality following the withdrawal of the BJP’s candidate from the fray last month. Rutuja Latke, the nominee of the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena faction, is expected to register a comfortable win.

Stakes are high in the Munugode bypoll, with all three major parties — the BJP, the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samilthi (TRS) and the Congress — contesting. The election was necessitated after Congress MLA Komatireddy Raj Gopal Reddy resigned from the party. He is re-contesting, but this time on a BJP ticket.

In Bihar’s Gopalganj, BJP’s Kusum Devi, whose husband represented the seat until his death, is in direct fight against Mohan Gupta of the Rashtriya Janata Dal. In Mokama, the contest is being seen as proxy fight between two prominent Bhumihar strongmen, Anant Singh and Nalini Rajan Singh. .

In Haryana’s Adampur, the bypoll was necessitated after former chief minister Bhajan Lal’s son and sitting legislator Kuldeep Bishnoi resigned and switched sides from the Congress to the BJP. The AAP has fielded Satender Singh, who switched over from the BJP.

In Gola Gokarannath constituency in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur Kheri, it’s a direct conest between the BJP and the Samajwadi Party.

In Odisha’s Dhamnagar, the ruling Biju Janata Dal has fielded Abanti Das against BJP’s Suryabanshi Suraj, son of Bishnu Charan Sethi. The Congress has fielded advocate Baba Harekrushna Sethi while former BJD legislator Rajendra Das is also in the fray as an independent candidate.

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